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Calorie Counts and Weight Loss: A New Study Sheds Light

reducing weight gainWhile we’re all about intuitive eating around here, we also believe that knowledge goes a long way. There’s nothing wrong with indulging a major craving for, say, a burger and fries from your favorite chain once in a while, but if you’re trying to lose or maintain weight, it’s probably smart to have some idea of the nutritional value, right?
Beyond right, according to a recent UK-based study by the Obesity Society. The study, which claims to be the first long-term study on the impact of calorie labeling in chain restaurants on body weight, showed that, in a university setting, “consistent exposure to prominent calorie labeling of main meals reduced the likelihood of young adults gaining any weight over a one-year period by 50 percent.”
The key words here are “consistent” and “prominent.” An occasional label here or there might divert someone from choosing a really calorie-laden option at that time, but if they don’t see it again for months, that little factoid is all too easy to forget the next time a hankering comes on. And as for prominence … well, sure! If the calories are labeled in a way that’s tough to ignore, people are certainly going to pay more attention.
There’s more information on the study here, but in the meantime, let us know what you think. Would prominent, consistent calorie labeling in your favorite restaurant affect the foods you chose to order? —Kristen

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